Monday, June 27, 2016
Be good to your servant, that I may live and obey your word. Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions. I am only a foreigner in the land. Don’t hide your commands from me! I am always overwhelmed with a desire for your regulations. You rebuke the arrogant; those who wander from your commands are cursed. Don’t let them scorn and insult me, for I have obeyed your laws. Even princes sit and speak against me, but I will meditate on your decrees. Your laws please me; they give me wise advice. Daleth
I lie in the dust; revive me by your word. I told you my plans, and you answered. Now teach me your decrees. Help me understand the meaning of your commandments, and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds. I weep with sorrow; encourage me by your word. Keep me from lying to myself; give me the privilege of knowing your instructions. I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your regulations. I cling to your laws. Lord, don’t let me be put to shame! I will pursue your commands, for you expand my understanding. Psalm 119:17-32(NLT)
You can start almost anywhere in Psalm 119 and read what appears to be schizophrenia on the part of the praying person. One second there is a request for guidance, the next there’s assurance that the pray-er wants to be faithful – IS being faithful; in the next heartbeat there is an agonizing cry of repentance and plea for forgiveness.
You get the idea praying transparently, from the heart, is not for the faint of heart!
But doesn’t this beg the question: why pray at all if it isn’t FROM the heart with all the transparency you can muster?
David, the model child of God, AND publicly-exposed murderer and conspirator, offers these agonizing, transparent, fervent, confident, meek and trembling prayers. Long and rambling, like a tent revival sermon, the king pours out his heart to God. Confession pours from his lips with hand-wringing uncertainty, bathed in humility and willingness to do anything to hear from heaven.
How transparent is David? Note what he asks God:
Keep me from lying to myself; give me the privilege of knowing your instructions. I have chosen to be faithful;
Only the most powerful influence of heaven could keep a man from lying to himself. Let’s face it, when we want to believe something, we will move heaven and earth to rationalize the untrue, and believe the fantastic. But David at least knew he was capable of such self-delusion, but he CHOSE to want the truth to dwell within.
And so he chose to be faithful – against all odds – to leave it in God’s hands to reconstruct his inner self into an obedient and useful child of the Most High.
That’s a prayer God is waiting to hear…always!
Are you tired of the little prayers? You know – the kind you throw heavenward in the hope God will leave you alone? Pray Psalm 119 along with David; it’s not for the faint of heart, but it is the pathway to the kind of blessing your heart really wants!